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Archive for July, 2009

Why are there so many holiday themed horror movies?  Halloween I can understand, but Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and now April Fool’s Day?   Gracious.   Does this mean some day I can look forward to President’s Day, where the reanimated corpses of former U.S. Presidents rise from their graves to fight an ancient evil?

Okay, so President’s Day would be kind of awesome; you know George Washington would run around punishing liars with that axe he used to chop down a cherry tree.  Abraham Lincoln would emancipate some folks from breathing and Teddy Roosevelt could run around beating people to death with big sticks.

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Non-spoilery:   It’s April Fool’s Day and Spring Break.  A group of friends are traveling to their mutual friend Muffy St. John’s (yes, that is her name in the movie) isolated rural mansion for a week of fun and frivolity.  When they arrive, however, people start disappearing and dying in strange ways.  Muffy acts bizarrely and there’s no boat coming to the island the St. John’s own to pick anyone up.   What follows is a combination of a slasher flick and an older, Agatha Christie style murder mystery.

Spoilers behind the cut.

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Here are the submissions so far:

  • High School Musical 3
  • Bring It On
  • A Walk In The Clouds
  • Constantine
  • 13 Going on 30
  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • Drumline
  • A Walk To Remember
  • Biodome
  • Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
  • Uncle Buck
  • Adventures In Babysitting
  • Van Helsing
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Down With Love
  • Four Rooms
  • Mona Lisa Smile
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Where The Heart Is
  • Baseketball
  • Escape from LA
  • Joe Dirt
  • Josie and the Pussycats
  • Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
  • Alien vs. Predator:  Requiem
  • Joe’s Apartment
  • Hackers
  • Cabin Boy
  • Hudson Hawk
  • Dude, Where’s My Car?
  • Let It Ride
  • Cool Runnings
  • City Heat
  • Love at First Bite
  • Zorro The Gay Blade
  • Big Trouble In Little China

Edited to add:

  • Love, Actually
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • Empire Records
  • Real Genius
  • Face/Off
  • Young Guns 2
  • Top Gun
  • U.H.F.
  • A Boy and His Dog
  • Rock ‘n Rule
  • Curse of the Queerwolf
  • Jeffrey
  • The Forbidden Zone

    If you still have a movie you want to submit, drop the title in the comments.   You know the drill.

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    #1549: The Hangover

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    Doug (Justin Bartha) is traveling to Las Vegas with his friends Stu (Ed Helms) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) as well as his soon to be brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis).    Stu’s stuck with a harridan for a girlfriend, Phil’s excited to get away from his wife and kid and Alan … well, Alan’s just got a few screws loose.  They arrive at Sin City in Doug’s future father-in-law’s vintage Mercedes, do a couple of shots of Jagermeister on the roof and a few hours later, the gang minus Doug wakes up in their swank hotel room.    There’s a baby in the linen closet, a tiger in the bathroom, Stu the dentist is missing a tooth, and no one has any idea where Doug is.

    Thus begins The Hangover.

    I think I must be the only person in America who doesn’t find Zach Galifianakis all that funny in this movie.  His portrayal of Alan is one of a brain damaged, socially inept whacko who reads awkward speeches about wolf packs and has a Rain Man moment in a casino.   While his performance is worth a few chuckles, he’s mostly way out there and a source of strange tension.

    The real comedy of The Hangover is in the strange, absurd moments like the tiger in the bathroom or a naked man popping out of the trunk of a car and beating everyone in the vicinity with a tire iron.   The constant apparitions of the unknown and bizarre keep the film lively, interesting and funny.   These events are paced so well, the film doesn’t even peak early with a hilarious cameo from Mike Tyson a third into the movie.

    The friends’ desperate search to find Doug in time for his wedding back in LA is comical but the payoff to the search isn’t as good as one hopes it will be.   In fact, almost all the characters in The Hangover smack of buddy-comedy / road trip clichés; it’s really the variety of the absurd that makes the movie worth watching.

    Worth the $9.50 a piece Younger Sister and I spent to see it, but nothing life-changing.

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    #1548: Brick

    “Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang and they’ll say they scraped it from that, who scored it from this, who bought it off so, and after four or five connections the list always ends with The Pin. But I bet you, if you got every rat in town together and said “Show your hands” if any of them’ve actually seen The Pin, you’d get a crowd of full pockets.”

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    Here’s the rub with Brick: If you’re into the movie in the first five minutes, you’re in for good.  If not, you won’t buy it.   Rian Johnson (director and writer) made what is essentially an homage to detective stories and film noir set in a high school.   The meat of the film is in the words and if the words aren’t grabbing you or sound funnily discordant, then you won’t be a very happy camper.

    Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Leavitt) is a loner whose girlfriend Emily calls him in a panic from a payphone.   She spits out words that make little sense to Brendan.   When she goes missing and then later turns up dead, Brendan doggedly pursues the truth of what happened to Emily, no matter what the cost.

    Brick is a detective story set in an unconventional place.   The fact that the main characters are high school kids in a high school at times can feel off-kilter and odd, but Rian Johnson’s writing is the real star of the show.   It’s smart, keen writing that is something new and something old all at the same time.   The writing wouldn’t be much without someone to carry it off and Joseph Gordon Leavitt does a remarkable job of making Brendan Frye relatable while delivering lines that feel more at home in something made in the ’30’s.  The supporting cast are good but Gordon Leavitt is really who the film is hanging its hat on, so to speak, and he does a terrific job.

    Multiple threads of the plot are interwoven and twisted about while a merry-go-round of high school degenerates float in and out of the picture; all threads meet nicely at the end when Brendan solves the mystery at hand.   Brick is more than just a mystery film.   It’s at times heart-breaking and saddening and at others, it’s darkly funny.   Combine this with a haunting, original soundtrack and you have one hell of a movie.

    Worth your time to Netflix, folks.

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    And maybe, tying my own shoes.

    I love (the idea of) movie shirts but I can never buy any because mainly a lot of them are stupid looking.   The few that aren’t, though, one must wonder what folks think about what they run into you.  Here are a bevy of shirts for your perusal with multiple choice options after each t-shirt, all designed to answer the same question:  What does this t-shirt say about me?

    Now … which to buy?

    SHIRT #1

    Predator T-Shirt

    A)  I am a twelve year old boy;

    B)  For all intensive purposes, I’m emotionally a twelve year old boy;

    C) I TOTALLY DARE YOU TO HAVE AN ARGUMENT WITH ME ABOUT PREDATOR 2.

    SHIRT #2

    Red Dawn T-Shirt

    A) I totally remember that Patrick Swayze was in a movie besides Dirty Dancing and when Jennifer Grey had her old nose!

    B) I bought this shirt on the clearance rack at Hot Topic.

    C)  WOLVERINEEEEEEEEEES!

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